Esther Pollard meets Peres over imprisoned husband’s condition

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres met with the wife of Jonathan Pollard, who asked Peres to request her husband’s release “before it is too late.”

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Esther Pollard met with Peres in Jerusalem on Sunday, two days after her husband reportedly was rushed to the hospital suffering from an unspecified emergency condition.

Pollard, 57, apparently was returned to the prison; an official there told JTA on April 6 that he was in his regular prison cell at Butner Federal Correctional Complex, the prison complex in North Carolina where he is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.

Peres reportedly told Esther Pollard that he may file an official request later Sunday with President Obama to pardon her husband. Obama announced last month that he would award Peres with the presidential Medal of Freedom in June; a petition signed by more than 10,000 Israelis has called on Peres to link the awarding of the medal to clemency for Pollard. Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit signed the petition last week.  

“I appeal to you as the wife of Jonathan Pollard who doesn’t want to become his widow,” Esther Pollard reportedly told Peres on Sunday.

Pollard, who has been imprisoned since 1986, reportedly has suffered from a variety of illnesses.

Peres reportedly discussed Pollard earlier Sunday during a meeting with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. The Israeli president reportedly promised Amar that he would work to secure Pollard’s release.
 

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